Sorry Business and funerals

Sorry Business and other cultural activities are very important. But it is more important at the moment to keep Elders — and others who are already ill — safe by following the restrictions around gatherings.

As part of Stage 3 of Queensland’s roadmap to easing COVID-19 restrictions, 100 people may attend funeral services. Next of kin must keep the contact details of attendees for eight weeks.   

You can apply for an exemption on compassionate grounds if a larger number of people need to attend.

Social distancing and good hygiene must be practised at all times.

If you are sick, you should not attend the funeral, as COVID-19 can spread between people very quickly.

Other ways to support families during Sorry Business

Saying goodbye to loved ones when they pass away is important. Councils can support families by sharing other ways to conduct Sorry Business. Families can:

  • send messages of condolence to screen at the funeral
  • hold small memorial services in their own community at the same time as the funeral service
  • provide copies of funeral programs and/or eulogies
  • utilise technology such as smartphones, facetime, skype and/or coordinated memorial services — but also with a localised wake — so people can grieve in a culturally safe way around family and friends.

Social distancing

Community members should be encouraged to follow health precautions to help protect themselves and the community by practising good hygiene, self-isolation and social distancing.

What is social distancing?

  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Follow rules about numbers of people allowed at gatherings.
  • Keep a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible.
  • Minimise physical contact such as shaking hands, hugging and kissing.

Indoor and outdoor gatherings

Indoor and outdoor gatherings should follow social distancing and good hygiene practices:

  • Keep 1.5 metres between people.
  • Provide hand hygiene products.
  • Provide suitable rubbish bins, with frequent cleaning and waste disposal.

Help is available

If you — or someone you care about — is distressed, in crisis, suicidal or needs someone to talk to, help is available.

Call:

  • 1300 MH CALL (1300 642 255) this is a confidential first point of contact to public mental health services.
  • 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for 24 hour assessment, referral, advice, and hospital and community health centre contact details.

Help is available

If you — or someone you care about — is distressed, in crisis, suicidal or needs someone to talk to, help is available.

  • 1300 MH CALL (1300 642255) this service is a confidential mental health telephone triage service for Queenslanders that provides the first point of contact to public mental health services.
  • 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) this service provides 24 hour assessment, referral, advice, and hospital and community health centre contact details.